Time to get back on track with Brixton’s unique live music

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Alisdair Grice celebrates New Year and Brixton’s unique mix of live music – let’s all resolve to get out there and (safely) fill the venues that need our support

Windmill Brixton

2022 has finally arrived in glamorous fashion!

After a helter-skelter of a year culturally (and musically) we are not expecting normality anytime soon.

Threats of closure towards long-standing venues, problematic streaming services not paying the artists which they rely on for clicks, and a host more issues have reared their heads and proven that the music industry is not faultless.

But there is no denying the power of live music events to emphasise the unity and kinship that is present in the industry.

Brixton is rife with exciting events this January, ranging from experimental punk takeovers of The Queen’s Head to gospel renditions of the timeless Lauryn Hill.

It’s time to get back on track, and fill the streets and venues of Brixton with your presence once again.

Portrait of woman
Saoirse

Saoirse

When: Every Friday in January (7, 14, 21, 28)

Where: Phonox

What: Saoirse is a name that you are going to need to remember. The Dublin-born, London-based DJ is stirring up waves in her scene, spouting mixes that bounce between jungle, house and electro, all in dazzling fashion.

If you need a visceral, heart-opening club night, then get down to Phonox any Friday this month and indulge in her eclectic rhythms.

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One Nation Under A Blues

When: Friday 7 January

Where: Upstairs at the Ritzy

What: A local night filled with table games, live DJs and (voluntary) karaoke at a much-loved venue in the centre of Brixton.

A tad more low-key than a gig or club night, this evening sells itself as being open to all, and guarantee you’re in for a fantastic time.

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woman playing electric base
Hyunsu Lee – Slow Cooked Bears

The Queen’s Head takeover: L’Extravagante, The Brouhaha, Rant, The Slow Cooked Bears

When: Friday 7 January

Where: The Queen’s Head

What: Another Friday in January? It’s looking like a packed start to the year … so we hope you’re ready for this delectable takeover of The Queen’s Head by a luscious bunch of art-rock and experimental punk bands.

A known incubator of bands to make it far beyond Brixton, this night will no doubt be sweaty, heaving with locals and filled with opportunities to let your hair loose.

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woman sings with mic

A Live Gospel Rendition of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

When: Thursday 13 January

Where: The Blues Kitchen

What: Lauryn Hill was an unstoppable creative force of the late 90s with a career that has made her an icon of the 20th century.

It seems only right that she is honoured and immortalised by the Testify Gospel Choir, who are offering a glorious rendition of her seminal solo album: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill.

Songs of praise takes on a whole new meaning at this Blues Kitchen soirée.

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IDLES Image by Alexander Kellner – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

IDLES

When: 16 to 19 January

Where: Brixton Academy

What: Post-punk provocateurs IDLES are bringing their brash and distinct sound to the revered Brixton Academy for a remarkable four-day stint.

The Bristolians released their third album Crawler to critical acclaim last year, with the NME stating it “Dials down the aggression in favour of reflection”.

But we can guarantee that IDLES’ take on “reflection” remains as raucous and in-your-face as you can imagine.

With a carousel of support from Sinead O’ Brien, Jehnny Beth, Self Esteem, stardom-fated Wet Leg and plenty more (on interchanging nights), this may just blow the roof off.

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